I Need Help with a Network of Quadras and Power Macs

1998 – PR writes: I need some serious help. I just obtained a position with an ad agency. They have a mix of PCs and Macs. I have no problem with the PCs. However, it has been a while since I worked with the Macs. The ones here are pretty behind the times. I would like to know what are my upgrade options (if any) I have for all of them. The company does not want to invest heavily (no new Macs), so I need to do what I can with what I have.

In a nutshell I have Power Mac 7200/75 (6), Power Mac 6100/60 & 66 (6), Workgroup Server 9150/120 (1), Quadra 650/800 (?). I realize that most of these Macs are on the endangered species list, however, any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Mac Daniel writes: I know these Macs well. All but one are on the list of Macs I support in my day job as a Mac information systems manager. All are very reliable. Some have good upgrade options.

There are G3 upgrade cards available for the 6100, which will give you about 5 times current performance. Cost is about $500. But remember that the 6100 uses system memory for video, so graphics performance will lag behind the rest of the system. You can boost memory as high as 136 MB and put in any third-height hard drive.

The Quadra 650 and 800 run at 33 MHz. There are no readily available CPU upgrades, and motherboard upgrades (to 7100 and 8100) are prohibitively expensive. You can boost them past 128 MB of memory and drop in a huge hard drive, but there’s no economical way to make them significantly faster. The one possibility, which is rare, would be adding a 128 KB Level 2 cache – but even there the cost might outweigh the benefit.

On the other hand, these machines can make great word processing stations, file servers, mail servers (we have a Quadra 800 mail server at work), or backup server. And be sure to upgrade to Mac OS 8.1 if they have 32 MB or more memory installed (readily available for under $50).

Bad news: The 7200/75 is not upgradable. The only upgrade path is to replace the motherboard, but that costs as much as replacing the whole computer with a used Power Mac 7500. My advice is to sell the 7200 and put the money toward a 7500, then drop in a G3 card.

I have no personal experience with the 9150/120. It’s a competent performer with lots of expansion options. Best of all, there are G3 upgrades for it, which will really improve performance.

Keywords: #powermac6100 #powermac7200 #quadra650 #quadra800

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